Waterlands set to open in summer

South ward councillors Elli Petersen-Pik (left) and Catherine Ehrhardt (right) flanking mayor Dan Bull and tv gardening man Josh Byrne.

A SUMMER 2021 reopening for the first stage of the Maylands Waterland is in the pipeline. 

Bayswater council brought in tv gardening figure Josh Byrne to develop the concept plans, with play areas and artworks inspired by local plants and animals, and “bioengineering” practices which aim to ensure the revamped Waterland doesn’t impact on the health of the river.

Stage 1 will cost about $3.5 million and will have shallow splashy areas, but the moderate-depth pools from the old Waterland won’t come til stage 2. 

Bayswater mayor Dan Bull said in a statement: “The concept plans complement the natural beauty of the site while incorporating the variety of family-friendly water play elements our community told us they wanted. There will be access for all abilities, plenty of shade and links to the river foreshore.”

South ward councillors Elli Petersen-Pik, who’s been campaigning for the Waterland to be restored since before he was on council, said: “I am very pleased that we are now seeing significant progress.

“I am particularly happy that it’s going to stay as a water-based facility, and that we will have at least one toddler pool as part of stage 1. It is a component that was particularly important to me and many others in the community, not least to ensure that young kids can gain confidence in water.”

He says he’s hopeful that they’ll see stage 2 (which includes a 60cm deep pool) in the near future as that’d help it get back to being a unique outdoor swimming spot. But that will almost certainly need outside state or federal funding, which hasn’t flowed in so far.

Fellow south ward councillor Catherine Ehrhardt said those deeper pools are key to Waterland. She said the stage 1 design “is a great looking park with water elements, but it’s not Waterland”.

The plans are up at engage.bayswater.wa.gov.au and there’s three community information Q&A sessions coming up at the rec centre next door: August 29 at 10am, and September 2 at 6pm or 7pm. 

By DAVID BELL

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